With this hot market we’re enjoying right now, you could get the feeling houses are selling themselves. But Lauren Matthews, design director and co-founder of White Orchid Interiors, offers a reality check. Here are her 5 reasons to stage even in a hot market:
1) “Staged homes just show better – regardless of the market.”
They show better in person, she says, and they also photograph better. In other words, they show better online – where buyers start their home search in the first place. Great staging and great photos go hand in hand when it comes to capturing buyers’ attention online.
2) “Staged homes attract higher quality buyers.”
When you stage, you attract buyers who want to live in the home, who really want to live there, Matthews says.
“What happens when a home is vacant – it attracts low-ball offers from investors and people who think that the home is either distressed or that the sellers are desperate.”
Wouldn’t you prefer quality buyers? Of course, says Matthews, because they’re the buyers who are going to “get into those bidding wars because they’re just emotionally attached to this house.”
3) “A staged home feels more move-in ready.”
Staging removes one more hurdle for buyers and paves the way towards “yes” – unlike the unstaged home that “feels like it needs a lot of work” and shouts its shortcomings.
Matthews says with a staged home, “families feel like, `oh, I could move in tomorrow. You know, all I have to do is close and we’re ready to go.’” A staged home is “warm.” It feels livable and inviting.
But that goes for any market, hot or not so hot.
Buyers who feel like the home is move-in ready are what Matthews calls “better, serious buyers. They want to buy. They want to get a good house and they want to move in.”
4) “It just sells faster.”
In a hot market staging means a sale in days vs. weeks or months in slow times. And a faster turn is what everybody wants. Your sellers are happy. You’re happy. It’s a win-win.
“Staged homes still sell 70% faster,” Matthews says, whatever the market.
Don’t be worried that staging is going to slow down the process of getting to market.
“We’re usually able to stage within a week,” she says.
5) “Staged homes sell for more than unstaged homes.”
“On average, a staged home sells for 10% more,” she says.
In a down market, staging can make the difference between selling and not selling. “In a good market, this is where you see people getting into bidding wars.”
Again, think “emotional attachment.” Think “higher quality buyers” who really want to live in the home.
“They’re, like, `oh, man I just really want this home and I’m willing to pay even more than ask.’ You’re going to get that effect with a staged home much more than you are a vacant home.”
Bonus tip: A staged home ensures you get the best photos for your “trophy case.”
Your trophy case is your listing presentation. Strategic agents see every listing as a stepping stone to future business and they fill their “trophy case” with success stories that win new listings. Be sure to stage and order beautiful, professional photography by Mediamax.